Referral marketing

Referral Marketing Guide (How to Get Referral Clients ASAP)

Have you noticed the pattern?

The pattern of businesses that are grown to six figures and beyond purely from referrals?

This is because people are four times more likely to becoming a paying customer when referred by a friend.

It makes sense, too.

Imagine it from the eyes of a consumer…

A business does an amazing job for your friend or family member, and you get to see the results first-hand.

Your friend or family recommends them to you, and since you trust the recommendation, there’s an increased chance you’ll become a client.

This goes on, and on, and on, and on forever.

Some companies literally do zero advertising and have all of their customers coming to them. Don’t you want that?

Great! Follow along as I teach you how to get more referrals easily.

What is referral marketing?

Referral marketing is the strategy of getting clients through existing or past customers.

Typically it is done by asking your client if they know anyone that could use your service, and if they’d be kind enough to forward them to you.

Similarly, referrals happen organically all of the time. This is the result of doing an awesome job and having excellent customer service.

But, I do want to touch on why you shouldn’t rely on just referrals.

Why you don’t want to rely on just referrals

Referrals are amazing. Don’t get me wrong.

But here’s the problem with relying on referrals…

You’re sacrificing control.

If you’re not in control of how you get customers, where they come from, and who they are, you’re at a disadvantage.

Control is one of the greatest assets you have as a business owner, and sacrificing it in any amount can be risky.

What happens if clients don’t know anyone they can refer? What if they’re stubborn and don’t want to refer anybody?

You’re outta luck if so.

But if you have other strategies in place to acquire clients, such as cold emailing campaigns or using content marketing, you don’t have to worry about this.

I firmly believe that companies should use measurable tactics that can be scaled like the ones I just mentioned as their main client acquisition channels.

Referrals will still come along, in great quantities actually, and you have much better control over your business.

Furthermore it gives you peace of mind knowing you’re not at the whim of clients if they’re unable to get you more business.

With that being said, let’s touch on how you can begin increasing referrals!

How to get more referrals

Do one hell of a job

I’ll be teaching you specific techniques in a moment that will have you drowning in referral work, but let’s get one thing straight first.

The best way to get referrals and to enhance any referral marketing strategy is to do one hell of a job.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a web design agency, wash windows, or offer legal advice.

If you solve the customer’s problem in a timely manner, and it produces tangible results for them, a lot of your job is done.

In fact, it’s proven that refining customer experience increases retention by 42% and satisfaction by 33%.

Source: SuperOffice

That means clients will stay customers for longer periods of time and be easier to work with.

Nobody is going to refer business to your company if the service or product quality isn’t 100% up to their expectations.

This is why you must guard your reputation with your life.

As they say, your network is your net worth.

Be friendly, professional, and always over-deliver if possible.

This brings me to my next point.

Build a relationship with the client

Don’t look at customers as another pay check.

That’s the fastest way to get no referrals.

Instead you need to focus on building organic relationships with clients.

This is why I firmly believe every company needs an on-boarding process like a trial period to test whether or not new clients are worth having.

I know early on that it’s tempting to take on any work to make money, and I support that.

But once you get the ball rolling, I suggest that you only interact with clients that are positive and easy to work with.

This way you develop a real friendship, and help each other out in different ways.

For example, I primarily offer copywriting services, but have helped previous customers with:

  • Setting up CRM software like HubSpot.
  • Creating effective cold emails for backlink building outreach campaigns.
  • Choosing between the right software for different goals.
  • Teaching them details about content marketing and copywriting to better understand the services I offer.
  • Finishing up projects much faster than intended because they had family matters to handle.
  • Etc

How much did I charge in situations like these?

Nothing.

I just wanted to genuinely help, and as a result I’ve created some amazing relationships with clients that will work with me for years.

Don’t be afraid to ask for a referral

With the paradigm mumbo jumbo out of the way, let’s get practical.

The first actionable tactic to get referrals for your business is by asking for them.

You normally want to do this after a project has ended, and you can use a template like the one below.

Hey {Client name},

It was awesome working with you and if you ever have questions or need help, feel free to reach out at any time.

Also, if you know anyone that could benefit from my services, would you be kind enough to give them my contact information or vice versa?

It would be much appreciated!

Warm regards,

{Your name}

It’s really as simple as that.

You don’t need to send huge complicated emails to get referrals.

If you did a good job, they’re going to be very likely to find someone to refer.

Offer an incentive

A very unique way to get referrals from existing and non-existing clients by offering an incentive.

This increases the odds that you will get referrals because the referrer gets an added benefits.

For example, look at this property maintenance company:

They offer a referral program that pays people for referring them new customers.

If you take this route, ensure that you calculate how much you could offer without heavily cutting into margins.

With referral plugins and apps for platforms like WordPress and Shopify so abundant, this is very easy to set up, too.

Heck, you could just PayPal or transfer the referrer a percentage of the project once it’s started to keep things simple if you wanted.

Other incentives you could offer to increase referrals are:

  • A discount on your products or services.
  • Free resources like books, whitepapers, case studies, cheat sheets, etc.
  • A free consultation or meeting.
  • Social media shout outs or a sponsored post.

Go to your local BNI meetups

Business Networking International, or BNI for short, is an organization founded in 1985 dedicated to helping businesses get more work.

Unlike other networking events where guys in ill fitting suits peddle their business cards, BNI has a focus on quality referrals.

They are active in over 76 different countries, and by attending you will reap rewards like:

  1. More customers and partnerships.
  2. Business education to help grow your company.
  3. Improved networking and people skills.

I suggest using Meetup.com and searching for “BNI” in your city.

As you can see, there are many different chapters in surrounding areas.

This creates the opportunity to visit many different BNI events.

Partner up with another similar company

While the idea of having an excess of customers can seem great on paper, it often leads to problems and disorganization.

If you’re not in the position to handle a pile of clients at once, the best choice is to outsource those projects.

This is exactly why partnering up with a similar company to yours can result in a flow of quality referrals.

The first step is to find local businesses like yours. Try using 411.

Type in a keyword and hit the green search button.

This will give you a list of all of the local businesses that you can contact.

Their phone number and website will be listed, as well.

If you’d like to email them, visit their site and find the contact form.

Alternatively you may be able to find an email address in the footer.

Whether you get them on the phone or send an email, pitch a partnership by:

  • Introducing yourself, your company, and how you find their’s.
  • Asking if they’d be interested in a partnership in which you take on excess work to make their life easier.
  • Setting up a phone call or meeting to discuss details.

Partnerships like these are mutually beneficial since you get clients and help them complete projects they may not be able to on their own.

Wrapping up referral marketing

You’d be crazy not to try to get referrals.

But you’d be even crazier to rely on them.

I believe every company needs to have multiple strategies in place to acquire clients, such as inbound, outbound, or via networking.

You can then safely get referrals without them being your sole source of revenue.

And if you are getting more clients via different channels, you’ll effectively increase how many referrals you can get.

Receiving referrals always begins with doing an amazing job at what you do, and building a relationship with the customer.

From there, try offering an incentive to referrers like a commission. This will increase the odds of people sending work your way.

I also recommend visiting BNI events or other meetups that are based on referrals.

Additionally you can pitch local companies to form a partnership in which you take their excess work.

What’s your favorite way to get referrals?

Carmine
Hey! My name is Carmine and I've written for Neil Patel, GoDaddy, Smart Insights, and other popular publications. Reach out to me at any time if you need copywriting services.